We’ve all heard it. The best way to save money is to spend less. And while that advice is always fool-proof, it is generally ignored by many. So I’ve listed some practical tips on how we can avoid going zero cash below. Take note that these are not a guarantee you won’t go penniless, but merely a suggestion. Although I highly believe that if you follow all five down to a tee, you won’t be.
1.) ASK YOURSELF IF YOU REALLY NEED IT. THRICE. I’m pretty sure most of us would answer yes the first time. And even if there is a shadow of a doubt that the stuff in front of us is essential, we’d find a way to justify it. So I suggest asking ourselves, not once, not twice but three times. Putting off the purchase and spending time to think of its use has a minimizing effect on our impulse to buy.
2.) PAY IN CASH. Swiping credit cards may be a lot easy to do and less prone to hold-ups. True. But it could also help you save in the long run. Card companies thrive on the idea of giving shoppers buying power. Which is all in your imagination. If you can’t pay it in cash, then it only means that you cannot afford it. And buying things you cannot afford is equal to living a life beyond your means. This is the best recipe for debt.
3.) LEAVE THE PLASTIC AT HOME. And by plastic I mean your credit card, not your shopping buddy. Bringing your cards with you all the time makes you susceptible to “emergency” purchases such as the “emergency red dress” and “emergency high heels.” Don’t tempt yourself. You know you’d give in easily.
4.) HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND. It’s best to have an extra stack of money because you never know when you’d need it. I suggest taking a percentage of your monthly salary and keeping it in the bank. That way, you don’t have to fight the urge in using it every time you run a little low on extra purchases. So let us classify what an “emergency” is. It’s not for a sudden party you’ve been invited to and in which you have “absolutely nothing to wear.” It’s for the times when you get sick or a family member gets sick. It’s for that extra month of rent you had to settle for. Basically, anything important and life-changing.
5.) INVEST. Not just in yourself, girl. But also FOR yourself. Not sure where to invest? Approach financial advisers, they’d be more than willing to let you know what’s the best way to begin. You can also read up on investments. That way, you wouldn’t be totally clueless when you approach one.